Trial Set for Man Charged in 1974 Killing of Teen

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By Aaron Hepker

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — A trial has been set for Oct. 15 for a Des Moines man charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 17-year-old Ottumwa girl in 1974.

The Ottumwa Courier reports a judge set the trial Monday for 67-year-old Robert Eugene Pilcher in the Wapello County Courthouse.

Pilcher has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the killing of Mary Jones, whose body was discovered April 9, 1974, in a farmhouse. She had been shot to death and sexually assaulted.

Pilcher was interviewed in 1974 but never charged. Investigators say they arrested Pilcher in November 2012 after linking him to the case through DNA evidence.

He's being held in the Wapello County Jail on $1 million bond.
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